Blaze – Chris Violas

Blaze – Chris Violas

Dan Humiston: [00:00:00] Today's show in the following message are brought to you by turning leaf capital a cannabis investment firm that provides both small and large investors the opportunity to take part in the cannabis bull market with their unique asset specific investment vehicle. Listen to MJ bulls episode 10 or go to turning Leif Capitol dot com to learn more.


Chris Violas: [00:00:22] Yeah we were really excited. I mean we started back in 2016 when we broke ground on the code and we spent a lot of time making sure that the system could be modular for a time and attention to the details and the nuances. So it's been it's been a great ride but in particular the last 10 months we've seen some really good growth


Dan Humiston: [00:00:45] From Buminit media. It's the MJ bulls podcast a show about raising Cannabis Capital. Dan humiston And on today's show how Chris violas evolved his cannabis delivery service business to blaze a full service suite of canvas management software


Dan Humiston: [00:01:12] Today we're joined by Chris violists the founder and CEO of Blaze a cannabis software company from Long Beach California. Chris thanks for being on the M.J. Opal's podcast.


Chris Violas: [00:01:21] Absolutely. Dan thank you for having me. It's been exciting to see you guys get some traction and were excited to be a guest on your show today.


Dan Humiston: [00:01:27] I'm glad to have you. This is going to be fun. You've been in the industry for a while. I was reading your bio and you had a really successful cannabis delivery business that you sold. Was it during this time when you were running the cannabis delivery business that you saw the need for software at dispensaries.


Chris Violas: [00:01:42] Absolutely. To your point I've been in the cannabis Game in California for a little bit now since 20 12 is when we launched our delivery service. That's exactly where I saw I was actually the one implementing the software as and I use two to three of them during my three years running the delivery service and while a lot of them had really good function and features a lot of them lack the flow a lot of them lack the nuances that happens in particular the delivery field when you start to look at a storefront aspect of retail will be easier. Everything's in one play. There's video cameras. We start talking about delivery. It gets really challenging given there are many different ways to run a delivery. So that's where we saw in the not just the retail but all the way down the supply chain.


Dan Humiston: [00:02:24] Can you just walk us through a transaction using plays at a dispensary.


Chris Violas: [00:02:28] Yeah absolutely. So this would be a storefront dispensary that's in Los Angeles California. You would walk in you would be greeted ideally by front desk personnel. They would ask you for some sort of identification. Could it be a passport driver's license or state issued ID. Do you want to go in as an adult use user. They would scan your I.D. using a blaze iPad app. We would pull that information and seamlessly in about one second in membership agreements. They could be signed at that point they would be entered into the system and let into the backroom essentially to place an order at that point once you're in the backroom. You work that bartender. Tell them what you're looking for. They will advise you. And ideally you'll have a product. Check it out just as you would at the store. All about the consumers experience.


Dan Humiston: [00:03:09] And right now I see you're operating in 70 dispensaries in four states.


Chris Violas: [00:03:13] Yeah. We're really excited. I mean we've started back in 2016 when we broke ground on the code and we spent a lot of time making sure that the system could be modular for a time paying attention to the details and the nuances. So it's been retail. Right. But in particular the last 10 months we've seen some pretty good growth. Let's give an example we are in 20 dispensaries in December so we've been growing very quickly.


Dan Humiston: [00:03:38] Dispensary POS that's a really crowded space right now. There are a lot of competitors in that space. Why have you been so successful.


Chris Violas: [00:03:45] Great question Dan we get this quite a bit actually. I think it's our focus not just on that POS component you know we're really focused on providing an interim management tool and a lot of other things come into the picture when you start to look at it from that angle. No single solution is going to be a one stop shop for your dispensary or for your retail operation. We understand that in a dispensary operator myself I understand more than most. We have 16 technology partnerships that are alive but many more are on the way. These are anything from payment processing integrations to remaps integrations to green rush. We're really excited about that and are going to continue to invest there doesn't see a reason for our success so far. We're very open with our API as we like to partner with people want them to continue to do that not just in retail but across our other products. Going back to your question were when the two point of sale dispensary management systems that can dive in to the delivery and have a very robust response to that all the way from dispatch and making sure the flow is seamless and when someone calls in down the track and the drivers understanding the mileage per transaction behind the scenes and that's on top of the normal when you sell.


Dan Humiston: [00:04:56] Just a quick shout out to one of our former guest cannabis Pharmaceuticals which is a publicly traded cannabis biotechnology company trading under the symbol C A B X.. Listen to MJ bulls Episode 18 to learn about the developments in their cannabinoid based cancer treatment therapy and now back to the show.


Dan Humiston: [00:05:16] Ok so the first product you call it Blaize retail right.


Chris Violas: [00:05:19] What we call the dispensary management product is it truly not just point of sale. It's you know a lot in there.


[00:05:25] Now you have you have that one you have distribution and now you're not stopping you're coming out with Blaze extract for manufacturers and Blaze grow for cultivation and then I see on your website that you also sell all the hardware. I don't know even what they're called anymore by going to call the cash registers scanner's safe. If a dispensary is opening up they just go to you and you have all this rate available for it. That's great.


Chris Violas: [00:05:49] Yeah it is. The goal is to get the century's up and running as quickly as possible. The reason why you see so many offerings in terms of the hardware integrations on our site is because wow be on board quite a bit of new discoveries. The majority of our new customers are actually migration's and so goal is to reduce the cost to switch. And so I would say hey go ahead keep your existing hardware we can run with it on mix side conversation a lot this year. Yeah. Makes the conversion for those guys. Much easier to swallow as well. But you have essentially four software products which requires a team of developers team of engineers not to mention you're gonna need a huge sales force to get this thing out there customer support staff.


Dan Humiston: [00:06:29] What's the plan to fund this expansion.


Chris Violas: [00:06:31] So we've been very fortunate in father and I have been able to fund ourselves the last couple of years. We can continue to do that. We're really looking for the right investor. So we've been very patient. We're looking at someone to come in and provide immediate value for us.


Dan Humiston: [00:06:45] So you're looking for somebody that's willing to roll up their sleeves and work right along with you to to help you with the growth the company you take care of the software side they take care helping you through the next funding rounds.


Chris Violas: [00:06:56] Yes. Now you're up right down that's true we are looking for something that's going to be able to come in has  past experience. We're really looking for some entrepreneurs or serial entrepreneur.


Dan Humiston: [00:07:08] We've been speaking with Chris violas the founder and CEO of Blaze and all of Blaze's information will be on the MJ bulls website. MJ bulls dot com Christ.  if That person that's listening right now says I know I'm that guy I want to work with these guys. How does he get a hold of you.


Chris Violas: [00:07:23] Do you talk to me. I don't regret this. Go ahead and e-mail me. It's just Chris. CJ Yes I blazed add me and I'll get back to you.


Dan Humiston: [00:07:32] I hope you do regret it. I hope you get so many you like. Dan thanks a lot. Oh that is good. I hope so. This is good. Chris I know this is something that is really needed and sounds to me like you guys are ahead of the curve on this one. This is really exciting. Thanks for being on the show with us.


Chris Violas: [00:07:47] Absolutely. Thanks dan.


Dan Humiston: [00:07:49] And good luck with this.


Dan Humiston: [00:07:53] Just a quick shout out to one of our former guest vivid grow a Canabis lighting a technology company which is expanding its brand through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Listen to MJ bulls episode 15 her go to vivid grow dot com to learn more.


Dan Humiston: [00:08:11] Thanks for listening to the MJ bulls podcast to learn more about today's guest where to become aguest. Visit our website at MJbulls dot com. Today's show was produced by buminit media with original music composed by Jamie humiston. I'm Dan humiston and you've been listening to the mjbulls podcast.




Dan Humiston